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Sharp-tailed Grouse Dance

Dawn breaks over grassland in the northern Midwest and a dozen male Sharp-tailed Grouse, gathered closely together, face one another in a rough circle. Suddenly, as if in response to a movie director's call for "Action!" the grouse snap into a dance posture. Each bows, holds his wings stiffly outspread, raises his tail straight up, and then runs forward, twisting and turning, with short, rapid steps. Female grouse look on, sizing up possible mates. Learn more about grouse conservation and the Prairie Grouse Partners.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote® 
 
Dance of the Sharp-tailed Grouse

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Sounds made during Sharp-tailed Grouse male courtship display]
As dawn breaks over grassland in the northern Midwest, one of the most amazing courtship displays in the bird world unfolds. [Sounds made during Sharp-tailed Grouse male courtship display]
A dozen male Sharp-tailed Grouse, gathered closely together, face one another in rough circle. [Continue courtship display sounds in background through this and the next paragraph sounds] Suddenly, as if in response to a movie director’s call for “Action!” the grouse snap into a dance posture.
Each bows, holds his wings stiffly outspread, raises his tail straight up, and then runs forward, twisting and turning, with short, rapid steps. As the birds stamp back and forth in front of one another, each inflates a patch of purple skin on its neck and yellow, comb-like ridges above its eyes.
As the males strut and dance, female grouse look on, sizing up potential mates.
[Sounds made during Sharp-tailed Grouse male courtship display]
Today, Sharp-tailed Grouse dance in only a fraction of their original range.
Yet many groups representing hunters and birders are working to enlarge their breeding habitat. Together, as the Prairie Grouse Partners, their goal is to restore 10 to 20% of North America’s native prairie – 65 million acres of renewed grasslands!
[Sounds made during Sharp-tailed Grouse male courtship display]]
Today’s show is brought to you by the Lufkin Family Foundation. You can learn more about Prairie Grouse Partners at birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein.]
                                                                               ###
Sounds of Sharp-tailed Grouse provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org          April 2011     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#   SotB-STGR-02-2011-04-16   

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